Last updated: 09:08 AM ET, Wed April 27 2016

Healthy Hump Day: Jawbone’s 5 Tips for Fighting Jet Lag and Staying Fit

Travel Technology | Barry Kaufman | April 27, 2016

Healthy Hump Day: Jawbone’s 5 Tips for Fighting Jet Lag and Staying Fit

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

There’s a tricky relationship between fitness and travel. Airports offer plenty of opportunities to get your pulse racing sprinting between concourses (we’re looking at you, ATL), but then you’re crammed into a tiny seat without room for so much as a bicep curl.

Then when you get where you’re going, particularly if you’re traveling for pleasure, the emphasis is usually on keeping you fed and well stocked with your favorite adult beverages. And while a poolside cocktail and a few trips to the buffet may create a blissfully relaxing vacation, they don’t always lend themselves to following your fitness regimen.

Enter UP by Jawbone. The tiny wristband works with your smartphone to crunch all sorts of data about personal health and habits, generating fitness tips personalized to you. You can see what your resting heart rate is, how much you slept the previous night and when, and keep tabs on how many steps you’ve taken on a particular day.

(The image at left shows what a typical day in Las Vegas might look like, for example. A lot of walking, not a lot of sleep. Obviously, this reading is from before you get to the black jack table, otherwise that bpm might read a little higher).

But more importantly for travelers, Jawbone includes a unique Smart Coach system that, among other things, can tell when you’re traveling and immediately jumps into action. Its advice on everything from hydration to movement to sleep is designed to mitigate the effects of jet lag and the various threats to a fitness regimen that can befall your average trip.

READ MORE: 5 More Ways To Counter Jet Lag

We asked the experts behind the Smart Coach system for some travel tips, and here are some of the best:

Beat Jet Lag Before It Starts

The best time to stop jet lag is before it starts, and it’s a known fact that flying east can be particularly brutal. To counter this, Jawbone recommends going to bed 15-45 minutes earlier every night a few nights ahead of your flight if you are flying east. This gradual pace helps you ease into the adjustment much better than trying to adjust after you’ve arrived.

Hydrate, Then Hydrate Again

Once you get through security (thanks, TSA’s never-ending war on moisture), head to the shops and pick up the biggest bottle of water you can find. The atmosphere on a plane can dry you out, leading to all sorts of problems. You can also set an idle alert on your band to remind you every hour to grab a glass of water and get up. Which reminds us…

Get Up

When you’re stuck on a long-haul flight, that cramped feeling in your legs isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. When that reminder timer goes off, chug some water then do a quick lap around the aisle to stretch your legs and avoid blood clots.

READ MORE: The Definitive Guide to Beating Jet Lag

Don’t Fall Asleep

Once you get to your destination, fight off the urge to nap in the afternoon when you arrive. Fresh air, movement and light can keep you alert and refreshed, helping you combat jet lag.

Stay Moving

Once you start keeping track of your steps, it becomes kind of hard to stop. If gamifying your basic motor skills is what it takes to keep you active, then roll with it. Balance out some time spent poolside with a few laps around the resort, or a jaunt up the beach and back. Do what you can to travel more steps today than you did yesterday. It won’t completely nullify the sugar content of that mai tai, but at least it’s something.

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